CO Trip "Almost" complete.. but...

Jun 19th, 2006, 05:30 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 265
CO Trip "Almost" complete.. but...

After everyones suggestions we added another day onto our trip and we are planning on going to Aspen for 2 nights then want to head to RMNP. We will take Independence pass on the way to RMNP...
We realize that we'll be doing some driving... We figure we'll get to see a little of everything and get a taste of CO..
Do you think we should go to Grand Lake, stay a night, then head down Trail Ridge Rd. then spend the 2nd night in Estes or should we head directly to Estes from Aspen and spend 2 nights there? I'm really not sure what there is to do in Grand Lake.
Any lodging suggestions for both area's would be great,.... I want to thank everyone for all there advice, its greatly appreciated..
Donna1185 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:07 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,151
If you don't mind packing and unpacking, I think the night in Grand Lake followed by the night in Estes would be great. Aspen to Grand Lake is far enough. Adding on the distance to Estes would be that much more traveling. And driving through the park on Trail Ridge Rd. will be a great way to see it.

I think you're going to be getting a very nice overview of Colorado. Be sure to go see the Maroon Bells while you're in Aspen.
Catbert is offline  
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:23 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 620
It's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. Stay a night in Grand Lake. Several reasons. First of all, it will make your drive over Trail Ridge Road to Estes Park less frantic the next day. Trail Ridge Road is something that should be savored, not rushed. It takes a while to get from Grand Lake to Estes, and you may find yourself rushing to make it to Estes. Secondly, Grand Lake is a nice town. Rent a boat. Hike the east shoreline of Shadow Mountain Reservoir. Fish Grand Lake or the Colorado River below Shadow Mountain. Hike Shadow Mountain. Take your time getting to Grand Lake and stop at the Hot Springs Spa in Hot Sulphur Springs. Take a short hike up the East Portal Trail on the eastern end of Grand Lake. Go into the west entrance of RMNP and take a hike along the Colorado River (watch out for moose and elk though).

Don't rush to Estes Park. IMHO it wouldn't be that special of a town if it wasn't for the fact that it is the eastern entrance to RMNP.
furledleader is offline  
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:24 PM
  #4  
TheWeasel
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
" I'm really not sure what there is to do in Grand Lake."

Honestly, you shouldn't do anything in Grand Lake, or Estes Park for that matter. I would use them only as a place to sleep/eat and spend the rest of your time in the park. The west side (Grand Lake) has a few short/easy hikes, and plenty of places to stop to look for animals, especially moose. The east side (Estes Park) has alot more hiking opportunities (as well as a lot more people) and the scenery is a bit more spectacular. Definitely stay a night in GL, then drive over to the EP side via Trail Ridge Road, making sure you give yourself a few hours for the drive and stops along the way.

I've only stayed at the Rapids Lodge in Grand Lake, and it was fairly nice, but I thought a bit overpriced for what it was. I don't believe there are any chain-type hotels in GL, so you'll maybe spend a bit more on lodging than in EP.
 
Jun 20th, 2006, 04:46 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 265
Sounds like staying in Grand Lake is the way to go. Thinkin of staying at Coyote Ridge B&B, over looking Granby Lake, 7 miles from town, ever hear of it?
Finding it difficult to find 1 night in Estes, will keep trying.
Anything we shouldn't miss beside the hot springs on the way to Grand Lake?
Whats the best route to get to Grand Lake from Aspen, just use Map Quest?
Thanks for all the help...
Donna1185 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 06:05 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 545
Donna,

Sounds like a great itinerary to me. We're mostly campers... so I'm not too much help in the way of hotel recs. Definitely stay in Grand Lake a night - check out the chamber of commerce site for more info. Rent a boat if you have a chance. Walk around town, have some ice cream. Go on a hike... Monarch Lake comes to mind. There are also great hikes near Granby that take you into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Watch out for the afternoon thunderstorms though. And take your time driving through RMNP and over Trail Ridge. You'll want to take I-70 to US 40/US 34 to Grand Lake.
yale is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 06:16 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 268
Hi Donna,

I wouldn't plan a night in Estes Park--it is very crowded and touristy. It has a nice setting, but you will have seen beautiful scenery prior to arriving there, so the town itself would add nothing, IMHO.
GJLinda is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 07:46 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,151
Donna, since you will be coming from Independence Pass, R-82, you'll return through Leadville and connect with I-70 at Copper Mountain. You can take the Silverthorne exit (9) and get to Grand Lake via Kremmling, or go on to 40 and get to Grand Lake that way. The latter way you'll go over Berthoud Pass.
Catbert is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 07:36 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 620
Leaving Aspen and going over Independence Pass you will be on Hwy 82. Stay on 82 past Twin Lakes to the junction with Hwy 24. Turn north (left) on 24 and take it to the town of Leadville. In Leadville, get off Hwy 24 and onto Hwy 91 north to I-70 at Copper Mountain. Take I-70 east for 10 miles to the exit at the town of Silverthorne. Get off in Silverthorne and turn left again (north) on Hwy 9. Hwy 9 follows the Blue River north all the way to Kremmling. In Kremmling, turn right (east) onto Hwy 40 and follow it as it parallels the Colorado River through Parshall Byers Canyon and Hot Sulphur Springs until you just about reach the town of Granby where you will intersect with Hwy 34. Turn left (east) onto 34 and take it to Lake Granby and Grand Lake.

Taking I-70 all the way east to Hwy 40 and then Hwy 40 over Berthoud Pass is NOT my recommendation as it will force you over the continental divide 4 times in one day. The route I suggest will force you over the divide only twice (Independence Pass, and Fremont Pass between Leadville & Copper Mountain). The drive that day wil be long enough as it is. Don't make it longer by tackling the divide any more than you have to.
furledleader is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 08:08 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 620
You indicated that you may be interested in the hot springs spa at the town of Hot Sulphur Springs. It is a favorite of my wife and I. It consists of about 20 separate hot spring pools of various sizes, configurations, and temperatures on the side of a hill overlooking the Colorado River. I must give you 3 warnings though.

The first is that they are not very child friendly. Children under the age of 16 are restricted to using only the 3 lower pools. And the management is pretty strict about enforcing it. If traveling with a 14 or 15 year old, you can get them access to the other pools by just buying them an adult pass and claiming that they are 16. Secondly, these springs have probably the strongest smell of sulphur than any hot springs I have been in. It won't gag you all the time you are there, but if a sulphury smell is something that is going to really bother you, you may want to reconsider.

Thirdly, don't be turned off or freaked out by the milky water or the mineral deposits floating in it like white soap scum. These mineral deposits are supposed to be really good for your skin, and they even recommend not showering for 24 hours to recieve the maximum benifit.
furledleader is offline  
Jun 20th, 2006, 08:39 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 22
Hi Donna,
I've lived 10 miles from Estes Park for the last 11 years and the views and
setting still takes my breath away everytime I drive into town(My 3 boys go to school there and I'm a realtor there). But to honest, we like Grand Lake better. It's more quaint than Estes. It still has it's tourist traps, but the lake atmosphere is just stunning. Estes is really just a place with a cute downtown(bunch of souvenier shops) and a bunch of hotels.
It always amazes us locals, when we see tourists playing putt-putt in town or riding on a superslide when you have one of the most beautiful parks in the world(RMNP) right there?? Anyway, too touristy for me in Estes
during what we call the "100 days of Hell"...Memorial day thru Labor Day. That's when the locals escape to Grand lake. Have fun!
MountainGirl is offline  
Jun 21st, 2006, 04:48 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 265
Since you live in Estes can you recommend a place to stay on Fall River? I really don't want to stay in town. The Woodlands is booked, was thinking of staying at BuglePoint or Antlers Poine..
What about Grand Lake, any lodging suggestions?
Donna1185 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 08:38 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 22
Donna,
I think that any place in the Fall River area is fabulous! Most of the places in Grand Lake are Mom and Pop places...so don't expect luxury. We love them because we like quaint, but
if you are looking for Hyatt quality, you won't like Grand Lake. We usually camp, so I couldn't tell you any lodging specifics. But I think there is the "grand Lake Lodge' which looks pretty cool! Have FUN!
MountainGirl is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 09:30 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 545
Donna - We camped near Grand Lake this weekend. Drove into town for lunch yesterday and noticed the Lazy Moose Cabins. Great location right on the lake. I'm actually thinking about booking a weekend there in August if they have availability. They're not the newest, but can't beat the location.
yale is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 04:48 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 265
Thanks for the info, the location looked good thats why we booked. It kinda looks like they are stuck in a time warp, but we'll be out and about so ni biggie... They have new owners as of the beginning of June. I called got a rate of 120.00 a night. The next morning I called to book and the owner answered and said the room was 150.00, the girl had given me the wrong rate..
Telling me it was the old rate...
Donna1185 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 05:31 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16,379
There are tons of places to stay in Estes, esp. condos, etc., along the river--try the north side of town, the less traveled entrance (exit from) to the park.
Grand Lake lodging is limited, but it would be nice to start up Trail Ridge in the morning instead of rushing.
sylvia3 is online now  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:44 PM.